Bruins hope to keep Canucks from partying in Hub

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Bruins hope to keep Canucks from partying in Hub

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Follow @dannypicard
BOSTON -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; The thought of the Vancouver Canucks hoisting the StanleyCup at the TD Garden on Monday night is sickening to most New Englanders.

But the Cup will be in Boston for Game 6, as Vancouver has a3-2 series lead. The thought of that alone is reason enough for the Bruins tobe determined to force a Game 7 back in Vancouver.

Well, I think we want to be the ones to lift the Cup, saidBrad Marchand on Saturday at TD Garden. We want to fight as hard as we possiblycan to make sure that happens. We know that if thats going to happen, we haveto win next game. So we just have to make sure that we do our best to make thatpossible.

The Bruins will have to use the one-game-at-a-timementality from here on out. But if they do force a Game 7 back in Vancouver,the Bs will have plenty of confidence, knowing that all three of their roadlosses in the series were one-goal games.

We were in every game in Vancouver, said Bruins coachClaude Julien on Saturday. And thats important for us, right now, to knowthat if we can play a little better in our building, and create that Game 7,well be a confident group.

So right now, the smaller picture is the most importantthing. And thats to make sure that we create a Game 7, by playing extremelywell here in our own building. And to look any further than that, would be amistake on our part.

The Bruins realize that they werent the more physical teamin Game 5. But they also know that that wasnt their biggest issue. The biggestissue was offensive production. And the Bs hope that offense shows up for Game6, so that they have one more chance in Vancouver.

Lets not hide behind that fact that they outhit us, and they seemed a littlehungrier, said Julien. Thats where we should have been able to push back.And we didnt do that well enough. Were aware of that, and we certainly wouldlike to have another crack at it.

When you dont score, I think you need to improve on morethan the physical play. Thats an area that I dont think weve done a goodenough job, in Vancouver.

It just didnt seem like we had our energy in Game 5,said Marchand. Everyone seemed a little slow, and our legs just werent going.So we just have to make sure we leave everything on the ice next game, and ifwe go down, we go down fighting.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, but it appears the Bruins made a mistake buying out veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg from the final couple of years of his contract. 

Seidenberg just finished up a wildly successful stint with host Team Germany at the IIHF World Championships, where he was named Directorate Best Defenseman (the tournament’s best defenseman) after leading all D-men with a goal and eight points. This came after Seidenberg, at age 35, posted 5 goals and 22 points in 73 games for the Islanders, with whom he signed after being cut loose by the B's, while averaging a shade under 20 minutes per game.  Seidenberg also had an excellent World Cup of Hockey tournament for Team Europe last summer (where he was teamed once again with Zdeno Chara), thus managing to play at a high level from September all the way through May.

A faction of Bruins fans thought he was on the serious decline after the 2015-16 season and, clearly, the Bruins agreed, opting to buy him out with two more years still left on a sizable contract extension. (They owe him $2.16 million next season and then will be charged $1.16 million on their salary cap over the next two seasons.) But the B's could have used a durable, defensive warrior like Seidenberg in the playoffs, when they lost three of their top four defensemen against the Ottawa Senators. A rejuvenated Seidenberg, able to play both the left and right side, would have been a better option than Colin Miller.

The Bruins made a conscious decision to hand things over to younger defensemen like Miller, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Joe Morrow in cutting ties with Seidenberg. But they also perhaps miscalculated how much Seidenberg still had left in the tank after his best season in at least three years. 

“Well, at the time we felt like [Seidenberg's] game had really dropped off to where we thought he couldn’t contribute, and we wanted to see if some younger players could come in and help us out,” Bruins president Cam Neely said at the end-of-the-season press conference earlier this month. “I’ve got to say he played well this year for Long Island. But at the time we thought it was the right move. You can’t envision us having three of our top four D’s get hurt [in the playoffs]. We went through a lot of D’s in the postseason. You can’t predict that.”

Neely is referring to the decision made after Seidenberg’s second straight minus season in Boston, when back injuries and a major knee injury had seemed to slow him down a bit. It seemed the only way to properly evaluate some of their other, younger defenseman was to cut Seidenberg loose, but one has to wonder if the Bruins would have possibly done it had they known he was still capable of playing like he did this season for the Islanders. 

Either way, the buyout of Seidenberg is an extremely legitimate second guess of Bruins management in a year where they did a lot of things right. 
 

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while feeling like we’ll be getting a Pittsburgh/Nashville Stanley Cup Final, which I suppose would be the best possible outcome at this point.

*You hear the name and it just gets you angry all over again if you grew up watching the Bruins. Ulf Samuelsson is in the running for an assistant coaching job with the Chicago Blackhawks, according to a report.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Chris Johnston says it appears that the time is running out on a Cinderella season for the Ottawa Senators.

*A taste of winning at the world championships with Team Sweden could fuel Alex Edler’s desire for a change from the rebuilding Vancouver Canucks.

*Interesting piece on a former can’t miss goaltending prospect with the Nashville Predators that ended up totally missing, and what he’s been up to in life since then.

*Guy Boucher explains to Pro Hockey Talk why he kept changing goaltenders in the Game 5 blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

*Don Cherry explains that he hates afternoon hockey during his Coach’s Corner from Hockey Night in Canada in the Game 5 blowout between the Penguins and Predators.

*A good piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Alex Prewitt on the Nashville Predators, and the evolution of the franchise into a team on the verge of a Stanley Cup Final appearance.

*For something completely different: What a win by the Boston Celtics in Game 3 in Cleveland, and quite an interesting, fired up interview with Al Horford afterward.